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Posts Tagged ‘Sally Heath’

Sept. 11 events in Alaska: Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Joe Miller

Posted by traceyporreca on September 13, 2010

Yesterday was an eventful day throughout the United States, because on this day 9 years ago, America and it’s people were changed forever. “Time heals all wounds” is the saying, but the wounds are still fresh for many of us, especially for those who lost loved ones on that fateful day. Alaskans, like the rest of America, spent the day honoring and remembering those sacrifices and reflecting on what it means to be an American in the Great State of Alaska.

The early part of this day found me wishing I was somewhere else. My email, facebook and Blackberry were buzzing with the two planned events of the day all of my friends were attending without me – the “Standing Strong For America” rally put on by the Conservative Patriots Group, the most active Tea Party group in the state of Alaska, and the Glen Beck event to be held in Anchorage later that evening. I spent the morning texting and calling friends while on a road trip to Fairbanks. I was over 400 miles away and would not be able to attend either event. Everyone was excited and as the morning wore into the afternoon, I found myself feeling more disconnected from everything that was going on. Then, I had a reality check.

In a parking lot in Fairbanks was a car, a PT Cruiser, with murals painted on all sides and the back. It was a private vehicle honoring Marines and on one side was the picture of a Marine saluting at a funeral. It hit me at that moment, on this day, that my desire to attend these events and be with friends had overshadowed the importance of the day itself. This is a day to hold sacred, to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and to never forget. I will never forget and let us pray this nation will always remember. In that spirit, and in remembrance, I’d like to share these images and thoughts, with the help of Julie Gillette. Julie is the current president of the Valley Republican Women’s Club, the club I was president of until late June of this year when I relocated. Julie has done a wonderful job as club president. She is a true patriot, a female veteran like myself, a mother and wife, and I am grateful for her help with this post and most of all, her friendship.

The “Standing Strong For America” Rally in Wasilla, Alaska

This rally was held at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Complex in Wasilla, Alaska. Sponsored by the Conservative Patriots Group (CPG), it was billed as a non-partisan event to remember and honor the significance of the day. Several groups were invited and attended the event. According to Julie, Alaska Senate Candidate Scott McAdams was invited but did not return calls to CPG and was not in attendance. The Valley Republican Women’s Club (VRWC) was in attendance, however, and had a table with information which was manned by several board members to include Carol Doner, Julie Gillette, Carol Ryan, and Jill Frost (pictured below).

Various media outlets speculated there were about 300 in attendance, but according to Julie Gillette, the actual number was around 450. “There were 400 chairs set up and they were full and there were a few people standing in the back as well as the volunteers,” said Julie. I’m not surprised considering the fact that conservative event attendance numbers are often downplayed by the mainstream media. Here is a photo from the Anchorage Daily News confirming Julie’s standing room only account:

The event began with a singing of the National Anthem by Adele Morgan, a very talented local artist (seen here with Julie’s husband Glen).

Dick Stoffel led the Pledge of Allegience and then CPG President Jen Bettine kicked things off. Glen Beigel spoke briefly and then Wasilla Mayor Verne Rupright spoke of his military service and reminded everyone never to forget the events of this day in history. Joe Miller then took the stage. According to the Anchorage Daily News report (ADN), “Miller said the nation was attacked on Sept. 11 ‘because we’re American.’ He said the U.S. is a threat to its enemies because of its ‘exceptionalism,’ its freedoms and constitutional restraint of government.

‘We as a nation have been activated. We’ve been activated through 9/11. We’re now activated in a political sense,’ Miller said. ‘We see a movement across the United States right now that is moving this country in a direction that restores foundations, that restores constitutional principles and makes us proud to be Americans again.'”

Sarah Palin was then introduced as a surprise speaker, to the crowd’s delight. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for not just welcoming me in my hometown but for being who you are, true patriots holding on to time-tested truths. Knowing some basic principles that again the rest of America I think can learn from so many Alaskans who believe this — those time-tested truths that are based on the government that governs least governs best,” Palin said (according to the ADN report

The mood of those in attendance was described by Julie:

“There were definitely a few tears through the slide show and silence as people relived the day of the attacked. The bagpipes and the timing of playing them at the end of the slide show left many with wet eyes. I was hanging in there until he started playing. Adele Morgan’s beautiful rendition of the National Anthem was amazing. It also created some watery eyes. Mood was mostly positive and upbeat, especially when Joe Miller and Sarah Palin spoke.”

The event lasted about 2 hours and then Julie described a special moment for herself and her husband Glenn:

“I had Glenn take a picture of us at the table before it got really busy. We were not initially going to try to get pictures with Sarah because she was swarmed with people. After the crowd died down, someone motioned to Carol Ryan that we should run over and get pictures before she left. Glenn has taken several pictures of me or our group with Sarah over the past 10 years. He finally got one for himself. We’re so glad to have had the opportunity because she was not able to stick around for the Glenn Beck Meet & Greet, she had a plane to catch.”

I agree with Julie in that the CPG did an amazing job putting on this event. Here is the picture with the group, and with Julie’s husband Glenn. Also included is an ADN photo of Joe Miller Speaking to Glenn.

(Courtesy ADN)

Finally, video courtesy of the Alaska Dispatch:

Glenn Beck comes to Anchorage

Alaska conservatives and Glenn Beck supporters were anxious to see Beck in Anchorage. The doors to the Dena’ina Center were opened and thousands of people who were standing in a line that wrapped around the building, started to file in. Julie said she saw many people she knew, but also many new faces in the crowd of attendees. Kristan Cole, who tweeted earlier that she had been invited to sit with the family, was up front, along with Sarah’s mother Sally Heath and other family members. Chuck Heath was not present, however. According to Sally, he was moose hunting! (it is the season here in Alaska).

There were also a few protesters. “They hid behind masks and some blamed George Bush for 9/11. As a retired Air Force member, that loses me everytime,” said Julie. “There was a lady with a sign saying not to vote for Joe Miller but she was peaceful and we told her what makes this country great is she has the right to hold that sign.” She also described the reactions of those waiting in line to get in to these protesters. “The people around me either ignored them or laughed but it was that laughter followed by the sentiment that we knew these guys would get more press than the actual event. There was a reporter in the room that we heard say to another reporter, ‘Look at all these fanatics!'”

First Sarah introduced Glenn, they spoke together, and then Glenn spoke. The mood during the presentation was generally upbeat and acknowledging. “(There was)Cheering, heads nodding in agreement. Eagerness for information, quiet, you could hear a pin drop when he spoke of serious issues and applause to take the roof off when he spoke of smaller government and us taking care of our neighbors so the government doesn’t have to,” said Julie.

Near the beginning of the event, as can be seen in one of the clips below, there was a heckler. It has been widely reported that conservative radio talk show host, and former Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, Eddie Burke assisted in “removing” this disruptive attendee. I spoke with Eddie earlier this evening and he gave me his version of the event:

“I was sitting in the front row one seat from the aisle, in front of the stage and Sarah as she was speaking. There were a lot of people coming forward and snapping pictures and then going back to their seats, so at first I didn’t really pay much attention to this woman. She appeared to be in her 30’s. I’m not sure exactly where she came from, but she stood there and then yelled out “You’re a hippocrit!” directly to Sarah. Everyone started booing her. I was within arm’s reach of her and the booing was so loud I couldn’t hear what else she said, but she was still talking. I stood up and moved toward her, and to use one of Sarah’s lines from one of her speeches, I said ‘Quit making things up!’ At that point, Sarah pointed to me and said ‘Thanks Eddie. Eddie Burke, folks.’ Security came and they escorted her out. I got a kick out of Sarah’s comment about us all knowing each other here, and then Beck made the reply about it being like a high school gymnasium. Afterward, many people came up to me and shook my hand. Many of them asked me when I would be back on the radio and told me that they missed my show. Even more folks commented that they voted for me in the recent election. It was, I have to say, pretty humbling.”

Joe Miller was also in the crowd and up front with Sarah and family. Per Julie, “Many times the crowd yelled out ‘Joe Miller will get us back on the right path.’ Sarah mentioned he was there and there was huge applause for Joe. She promoted him, but the crowd also yelled his name when discussing solutions to America’s problems.”

I asked Julie what Glenn Beck’s main message was:

“Faith – find a religion and be grounded with the Creator. Hope – we can turn things around but each one of us has the duty and responsibility to make that happen and it is hard work. Don’t sit on the couch channel surfing. Get out there and serve. That brought is to Charity, tithe, join a church and tithe. Serve your neighbors. We are the largest contributors as a Country, we give more than all other countries combined. Give so the people are not owned by the government. And, did I mention he really doesn’t like Woodrow Wilson?”

Here are a few of Julie’s photos from the Glenn Beck event:

A packed house, again despite media reports

Gayle Ann, Julie, and Eddie Burke

Julie, Sally Heath, and Gayle Ann

Glenn and Sarah

Glenn during his presentation

There was a meet and greet with Glenn Beck afterward. Julie and Eddie both described their experience. Per Julie,

“Each person got about 30 seconds with him and there were about 250 people. He was so exhausted. I was in the last group. Poor guy had flown all this distance, spoke all night brilliantly, then had to sign his name 250 times. He made sure he personally shook everyone’s hand. I was given two challenges, one to get a picture of him wearing a club shirt. Well, 30 seconds did not allow that so I decided instead to just give him the shirt for an autograph to be used for fundraising. So,the consolation prize was to have him in a picture with the shirt. The other challenge was to get a picture between my 2 favorite Glenns. That was a no brainer! I did tell him I was president (of the club) and that Sarah and her family were inspiring and that I appreciate him including her tonight.”

For Eddie, it was also a brief encounter. “I’m a member of AA and so is he (Beck)… He said. “It saved my life.” I responded, “Mine too.”

Julie said for her, it was the best day ever. “I was surrounded by American patriots. It gives me hope for a bright future. I met and got pictures with my 2 favorite rock stars, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Our Founding Fathers live in the people I was privileged to participate with today. It was an honor to be part of the CPG event and an honor to shake the hand of a man that is willing to take a stand.”

Although I was not there, I am grateful for the friendships events like these have brought me, and they help me remember what being an American is all about. Faith, Family, Freedom. What more does one need?

Below are a couple of videos that have already been widely circulated on the internet. They are from Nina Stone, a facebook friend of mine who was gracious enough to allow me to use these, even before they went viral. Nina is a talented writer, and I know there are many of you out there who are interested in all things Alaskan. Here is a link to her latest Alaskan novel, On The Wings Of Love. Please check it out!

Video of Sarah’s introduction of Glenn Beck

Video of Sarah and Glenn, including the moment with that wonderful heckler

To view other posts from Tracey Porreca, please visit Finding Myself In Alaska

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Posted in Adele Morgan, ADN, Alaska Dispatch, CPG, Eddie Burke, Joe Miller, Julie Gillette, Sally Heath, Sarah Palin, Uncategorized, Verne Rupright | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009

Farewell Borders and Thank You…

I awoke, showered, cleaned up, packed up, had breakfast and while eating saw my Palin Power button on YNN Rochester. Click this link and go to 2:04 in the 3:33(a providential, lucky number of mine) video:

After breakfast and before my flight, I had to do one more thing. I went to Borders, drank a white mocha latte, then walked to the area where Governor Palin was signing…and went to the space she occupied and spent a few minutes there. I saw a couple of copies behind me near the floor were a little disarrayed. I knelt down, made them correct, left the space, came back again, left, came back a third time, then left — forever. I drove slowly out of the lot, then picked up speed after Borders was out of sight.

Slipping the Surly Bonds…

I was seated in 1A of the US Airways Dash 8 100. I shut the iPhone off after a strategy-related email exchange with Fay, Editor and Publisher of the Sarah Palin Information Blog and an author on Accomplishments. We departed Runway 22 and arced to the left. I found the mall right out the window where Borders is. Just as I bid farewell silently, the plane slipped into the overcast and re-emerged a few seconds later…..


When the light from the sun strikes an airplane, if you are sitting on the side opposite the sun and are flying over an under-cast, you will see a circular rainbow. The phenomenon is called a glory. Immediately after crossing the cloud layer, the shadow of the plane was encircled in a glory. Soon, the shadow disappeared, but the glory remained moving ahead of then behind the left propeller.

Aerial Tour

As the trip progressed, the solid under-cast went broken, then scattered. We broke out of the clouds in an area unfamiliar to me. Finally, I saw water…then a city below and to the left…Stamford, CT….what was about to unfold would be one of the most beautiful flights of my life. With Stamford to our left, we turned westward and followed the coast of Connecticut and Westchester. I saw Mamaroneck. Again, I remembered some of the Edison sites I’ve worked at over the years….I remembered another Sarah….my great aunt, Sarah Hackman who died in 2005. She lived in Tuckahoe, and her daughter Barbara had special needs, being crippled from Polio (this was in the pre-vaccine days).

We crossed the Bronx with Westchester now to our north. My mother’s Yonkers home would be off the right wing. I saw the George Washington Bridge and the plane turned left. More Edison sites, both Yankee stadiums. I could see clearly the de-construction of the former Yankee Stadium…we crossed into Manhattan. I figured we were going to turn left over 125th St. and land on Runway 13. We were not….we flew right over Central Park and through Midtown. All the skyscrapers below passed in striking detail. I saw Harper Collins at 10 E. 53rd St, and all the familiar landmarks: Met Life, Empire State, NY Life — Con Ed Headquarters, Zeckendorf Towers…the Federal Building, I sat spell-bound as my life’s memories flooded through….I could see Queens and Brooklyn clearly….

We continued over NY Harbor…as all the familiar Edison sites passed by. The Verrazano Bridge came into view…we were overflying Staten Island!!!! My home! I saw the rented house Elsy and I spent our first four Staten Island years in….but there was more to come…we flew all the way down to Great Kills tracking the Island’s core. I saw the little pizzeria where I have my second job. We took a descending left turn, out over Lower NY Bay and another descending left to parallel Staten Island’s south shore. Now…our approach to LGA was underway.

I could see the Bayonne Bridge on the other side and could see the general area where my house is. Once again, the Verrazano Bridge and we tracked through Brooklyn, passing the accursed BQE and the streets I dodged through just two days before. I saw Daisy’s Diner…were a fellow customer and I talk politics and Governor Palin each time I’m there. We flew right over the apartment Elsy and I rented in the first four years of our marriage. My childhood home in Flushing NY was off the right wing. We landed on Runway 4 and as we pulled into the terminal area, all of Flushing was in my direct view.

By juxtaposition, Governor Palin touched every aspect of my life.

In these six posts, you may wonder why I would include material that on the surface has absolutely nothing to do with Governor Palin or Going Rogue.

So…what does this all have to do with her? Everything. Simply go to the bottom of Page 8 in Governor Palin’s book.

All will be revealed.

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009

No Better Than the Book Burners of Old

The impact of the egg striking the stack of books resounded like a gunshot in the nearly empty Borders. I was behind the display stack talking with Kristina,  Kate and Rachelle. JD had already gone home. Adrienne and I had our backs turned. Adrienne was right next to the display stack, which was in the center of the store as you walked in the front door.

Following the sound, I heard a voice proclaim, “Sorry I didn’t hit you Sarah!” The egg thrower then sauntered out of the store as if victory was his. I ran toward the stack and saw several books covered in yolk and egg white. Adrienne’s outfit was splattered too…collateral damage from his attack.

I screamed out to the Borders staff…”get him…he destroyed several of Sarah’s books, and Adrienne’s been hit!” The staff told me they’d take care of it…don’t get involved! I waited…and I took pictures of the damage:

Photography by Ron Devito: Adrienne Ross — collateral damage from egg attack on Going Rogue display.
Photography by Ron Devito: Overall shot of the display. The more highly reflective covers have egg white on them.
Photography by Ron Devito: Close-Up. At least eight books were destroyed.

Photography by Ron Devito: Close-up. Yellow on the second book in the stack is egg yolk.

Photography by Ron Devito: Target of hate.

Photography by Ron Devito: Note the wet spot on the carpet and the egg shells. These books were located behind Governor Palin’s display.

Throw the Book at Him?

The egg thrower was caught and arrested. He came to realize that his form of “political protest” did not exactly serve him well. Borders chose not to prosecute him, because he opted to pay for all the destroyed copies of Going Rogue. In essence, this brilliant Obama Kool Aid drinker now bought the largest number of copies of Going Rogue for a single customer in the entire day!

Also ironic and providential: Governor Palin was accused of trying to ban books as Mayor of Wasilla…except for one minor detail: the books she was accused of trying to ban did not even exist at the time. But, book banning is a lie Obama’s followers continue to perpetuate. Adrienne Ross risked her job to protest a display at her school perpetuating this falsehood.

Ironic that this man wanted to not just ban…but destroy Governor Palin’s book.…and since he indicated that the egg was intended for Governor Palin herself, I was loudly pushing for him to be prosecuted…but Borders accepted reimbursement. Now it was up to Adrienne.

Mercy and Forgiveness? Or Pursue a Pyrrhic Victory?

The arresting officer told Adrienne, she had a choice to make. Prosecute him for criminal mischief and harassment; which meant she would have to stay the night, then drive four hours from her home each way to be present at his trial…or have him released.

I was pushing for prosecution. Kristina and Kate calmed me down and told me to defer to Adrienne — it was after all her decision to make….and they were right. It was her decision.

Adrienne chose the path of mercy and declined to press charges. She did not pursue him for the soiled outfit…she wanted nothing more to do with him…rightfully so.

Farewell Dinner

Our tired band of Rogues went to Uno’s right across from Borders to have our farewell dinner. We discussed the incident…the pros and cons of prosecution. For a few minutes, we wondered if the right thing was done not pressing charges. “Sorry, I didn’t hit you, Sarah” played in my head over and over again like a broken record. Could he be motivated to attempt to harm her in some way later on? Would Borders’ and Adrienne’s act of mercy embolden him? Conversely, what was to be gained by Adrienne prosecuting him for harassment? To appear before a judge and say “this man harassed me as a byproduct of destroying several copies of Going Rogue”? With the primary case disposed of, there really was little point in pursuing it further.

Finally, the conversation shifted to more joyful subject matter — some related to Governor Palin, some of it not. We enjoyed our meals and conversation.

It was nearly midnight. We all exchanged hugs and the band of Rogues broke up. Having Gone Rogue, now it was time to Go Home.

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009

Entertainment Tonight and Hamburg TV Station

I did a media interview with Entertainment Tonight. The reporter was very friendly. He asked me to explain why I supported Governor Palin — and why I would wait over 24 hours to see her. “I support her Reagan Conservatism, her positions on the Second Amendment and oil drilling. I admire her 17 years of executive experience and Transformational Leadership. We have not seen a leader like this in 150 years.” Do you want her to to run for President in 2012?, he asked. “YES! I believe she was summoned to carry Reagan’s torch. But I will support her no matter the path she chooses,” I said. We agreed to do a second interview after the signing. The first interview was completed at 1516 EST. My second interview with Entertainment Tonight took place at 1759 EST.

The same questions were asked in my interview with the Hamburg, Germany with my responses mirroring what was said to Entertainment Tonight. The Hamburg interview was completed at 1656 EST.

Ron Devito Going Rogue with Governor Palin

Finally, the time had come. I deposited my jacket and gift card on the table. I threw Adrienne a salute and passed her the books to give to Governor Palin. It was Saturday, November 21, 2009 at the seventeenth hour and the fortieth minute.

“Governor Palin…Sarah….it’s nice to see you again.” We locked eyes…she shook my hand, said “Hi, what’s your name.” “I’m Ron Devito, from Staten Island. You signed my heart in Pennsylvania.” She smiled…I could tell she remembered. “I like your buttons,” she said. But…I saw her looking at the Palin Power button, I had been selling. Pointing to the button, I said, “Today, I prototyped this one. And I will be giving it to you in the gift box. It is yours.” “Thank you,” Governor Palin said. It was time to leave….I turned back….”It was nice to see you again” — followed by a pregnant pause — “my President.” She ended the conversation with a final thank you and I took my signed books.

There was no time for personalization, and for collectors, non-personalized signed books are worth more money (mine is NOT for sale at any price). My fleeting time with Governor Palin went by faster than a Concorde flying overhead at Mach 2.2. 

When SarahPAC photographer Shealah Craighead releases the photos, I will acquire. She may or may not grant me permission to post, but I will ask.

I went to the main shopping area, finished off the gift card and took what was now Governor Palin’s property off my heart, put it in with the card, sealed it and left it and went outside to work the crowd, and wait for my colleagues….

Photography by Ron Devito: (iPhone Camera) Crowd awaiting entry to the store following my signing.

Photography: Ron Devito. Trig Paxton Van Palin. Photo re-touched to remove red-eye.

Photography: Ron Devito. Sally Heath, with whom I shook hands and had two brief conversations. When I told her I’m from Staten Island, her eyes lit up. “We worked on Fresh Kills.” “I know…it’s only 8 miles from my house.” We exchanged some pleasantries, and then I said, “Your daughter is going to make history.”

Photography: Ron Devito. Chuck and Sally Heath announce to the overflow crowd that Governor Palin will sign their books. Mrs. Heath hugs a supporter. Photo re-touched to remove red-eye.

From the Outside Looking In

Having had my books signed and awaiting my colleagues…we were going to eat dinner together after the signing, I took some potshots with the camera of Governor Palin signing books….

Photography: Ron Devito. A shot of Governor Palin with the back of her head facing the window. Piper Palin is to her right.

Photography Ron Devito. Profile view of Governor Palin.

Photography: Ron Devito. A blurred view, but one where Governor Palin’s face is visible.

From Going Bust to Going Rogue

As the evening progressed, jubilant supporters emerged with their signed books. One small boy was ecstatic: “she touched me! She actually touched me.” The little child wasn’t expecting Governor Palin to shake his hand. JD Merkel returned after the Heaths’ announcements. I told him to get on that line NOW….his book was going to be signed….JD went Rogue, not Bust after all….


Governor Palin and her staff left through the back of the store, they same way they entered. I ran to try to see her along with the crowd, but only saw the motorcade pull away. The store re-opened, the crowd dispersed, and I went to meet with my colleagues. We were all exhausted and hungry. Governor Palin had been gone 15 minutes, when an ugly act of hatred unfolded….an act reminiscent of the days not of banning books, but of burning them…

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009


After cleaning up and showering and getting dressed, I checked my iPhone. Governor Palin had published a Facebook Post regarding health care. It was not covered. I launched into action, got the item on Accomplishments, did my Buzz, Digg, Fark, and Delicious, and put aside the laptop.

Not wanting to wait for the condensation to clear off my car, I wiped the driver’s side mirror with my hand, turned on the rear defroster and drove with the windows down in the freezing cold. Borders is only two miles from the Day’s Inn Henrietta, and my bee-line got me there in two minutes.

Back to Hustling…

I greeted Amy, Ed, Barb and the others. I went back to working the crowd with the business cards and buttons. I met Kristina, Kate, and Rachelle. Within the hour, the rest of my buttons were sold or given to those promised. All I had left was Adrienne’s and mine. Another generous soul brought coffee, bagels, and donuts. It was like a huge tailgate party — just as Governor Palin would Tweet in reference to her next stop. Like earlier, I whiled away the rest of the time reading Going Rogue — continuing to laugh or cry as the story continued to unfold. The time to 0900 — the opening of Borders — flew. I made it to page 105 and stopped.

Wristband Secured…

I got my Blue A wristband and immediately went outside and put on my right wrist. I wanted it there along with the red shirt I now wore — for Reagan Conservatism. I met Adrienne and gave her the promised button. Now, only the one over my heart remained….

Houston, We Have a Problem….

I alternately went in and out of Borders holing up in the cafe and returning to the camp post just outside the door. While talking with Kristina, her sister Kate, and Rachelle, we heard a commotion outside.

Apparently, the store did not get all 1,000 wristbands. They got 500. The second group of 500 were angry. But they got stickers…they became the overflow group. If Governor Palin had the time after the first 500, the overflow would be taken in. JD Merkel, Rochester Organizer, 2012 Draft Sarah Committee was in that second group. He resigned his fate to Going Bust….

Adrienne and the store’s staff had to deal with the crowd. Everyone calmed down, but I did not find her to be in an enviable position at that moment….Adrienne handled it like a skilled professional — as if she had been doing this all her life.

The Final Hours

The final hours were spent continuing to read Going Rogue, charging devices, going in and out of the store and learning about the structure of the event. A gift box was placed. I took out a business card and chicken-scrawled a message of support. But going into that box, it would get lost.

So, I opted for a greeting card and wrote my message. I emailed a trusted colleague for review. She loved it. I left the card envelope unsealed….The content of my message will remain private; however, I will state that it is based very strongly on the bottom half of Page 8 of Going Rogue.

A Sarah Palin look-alike — Sharon from PA — came in. I posed with her:

Then, Adrienne, Kristina, Kate, and myself posed at the book signing table.

 Adrienne Ross

Front: Kate Lazzaro. Rear: Kristina Lazzaro

Ron Devito

The time drew nigh…We all left the bookstore and assumed our new positions to the left of the door…

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009

Lake Ontario

After over an hour of fooling around with my wife Elsy’s five-year-old laptop with a broken PCLinuxOS implementation (Synaptic will not update), I settled on leaving Accomplishments, and the promotion/news announcement sites up and leaving my other accounts alone. They would just have to wait until I got home.

Being near Lake Ontario and having some time to kill, I wanted to see my other love — the water. So, I hopped in the car and made the 30-mile one-way trip. I questioned my sanity for doing this after spending the morning battling traffic, but the road was open, drivers were mostly courteous and I was seeing something new and exciting. Ominous cumulonimbus clouds were forming to the north. Bad weather appeared to be approaching.

The area fronting Lake Ontario was all private property, so I could not venture out. Karl Strohmeyer called me. One of my two copies of Going Rogue that were to be signed was destined for him. We discussed how he wanted it personalized — if Governor Palin was going to — and just generally shot the breeze about politics. I met Karl in Scraton, PA in the final 72 hours campaigning for the McCain-Palin ticket — not with my own party, the GOP, but with Democrats for McCain.

Base Camp…

By 1600, I was back at Borders. I stopped in for a pretzel and a beverage, checked email, and charged the iPhone. No one had been camping outside like in other venues. Rochester, being rather liberal, I figured turnout would be lighter. I would go back to my hotel room, then check Borders every few hours. I emailed Kristina, Rachelle, and JD Merkel the non-news. Adrienne had secured a position as part of Governor Palin’s event team for the day, a job should would perform with expert professionalism, so I did not bother her with my updates.

At 1645, I met Amy, who had set up a chair and a gentleman named Ed who set up one behind her. Camping had begun!!! I sent a text message to my colleagues and told them to get here NOW! Then, I introduced myself, got my bag and set up behind them as number 3. Barb was number 4. Amy was generous and let me borrow a camping chair (yeah, I did not think to take one of those). I did bring a NASA foil emergency blanket. While it was effective at protecting the front of me, the wind whipped from behind. I needed more protection. I asked Amy and Ed to stand guard and ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a cheap sleeping bag.

I did not drive. I ran across. The cold wind whipped my legs. In my business casual pants minus thermals, I might as well have been naked. I started to second-guess myself. The bag cost almost as much as the room for night — a hotel room I would now not be using. I questioned my own sanity. I had never done this before. Was I now some kind of groupie? Returning the bag and opting for the critter comforts of the hotel room was tempting. But I would not dare! Not being number three on that line! I wanted the front spot? I wanted to be here? I spent this effort to have these books signed? Well…I got re-focused! I had work to do….

Time to Hustle…

As campers began to secure their positions, I went to work, handing out business cards promoting Accomplishments. I also had pinned to me a button I created with the help of a colleague. I ordered 10 and the batch was not in front of my house; so I raised Cain and a replacement was sent to the hotel. Meanwhile, the original batch turned up the night before I left. So, I now had 20. The mission: test-market this logo. If people liked it and bought it, my online store would be promoted and I’d start selling. If there was little interest, I’d abandon the effort.

I had a happy problem: I sold almost the entire batch of 3.5-inch buttons at $6 each before the night was over. I had to save Adrienne’s, Kristina’s, Rachelle’s, and mine. So, I started hand-writing the name of my new store on the back of the blog business cards. North Star Promotions was born…

The atmosphere was very festive….and the generosity exchanged among strangers was amazing. One man brought in a big Sicilian Pepperoni pie. Starving, I dived into that box, and being the chow hound that I am, six slices were gone in no time. I offered to pay for what I took. He wanted a Palin Power button instead. Done deal.

And, so I worked the crowd, passing out cards, belting out SA-RAH! chants, just because. Barb told me about her Thompson Contender with interchangeable barrels. Another lady I met was a huntress. The 9/12 Project was there. A Gadsden flag was erected on a column of Borders.

And to while away the hours, I continued reading Going Rogue, but I had a problem….every other paragraph I had to stop. I was either laughing with Governor Palin or found myself on the brink of openly crying as the story of her life unfolded word for word.

Barb, Amy and I reached an agreement. They would watch my chair. I would go back to the hotel room, and come back in the morning. After we got our wristbands, they would sleep in their cars, and I would watch their setups.

I went back, tried to call my wife, but could not get through. I emailed her my position report, and went to sleep. Amy and Barb said I could be back by 0700. But there was no way I was going to come back that late….

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Posted by Ron Devito on November 23, 2009

I have this crazy idea…

Accomplishments author Adrienne Ross (the editor and publisher of Motivation: Truth and a Board Member, Media Director, and NY State Organizer for the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee). and myself were exchanging some text messages a couple of weeks ago. “I have this really crazy idea,” I wrote. I figured she was going to write back, “Again?” But, Adrienne was too kind for that. I went on…”You live upstate…Kristina Lazzaro (editor and publisher of: Inspiration Sarah, and the Buffalo, NY Organizer for the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee, and Accomplishments author) lives upstate….Governor Palin’s going to be in NY…you going to see her?” Of course they were…I went to Google Maps on my iPhone and banged in the address of the Borders store in Henrietta, NY, where she was to sign the books. It would be a 340-mile trip one way. Nearly seven hours driving. I calculated gasoline costs and figured I might be better using Amtrak or even flying up.

My head was spinning. Adrienne is not one to tell others what to do, and always emphasizes that ultimately, the decision on anything is yours to make. But, she looked at my texts and and listened on the phone as I egged myself on. “I want to do this…let me get back to you when I have the logistics worked out….”

Going Rogue, or Going Bust?

I plowed my 2007 Honda Pilot through the streets of Brooklyn and Queens from 0700 to 0900 the morning of Friday, November 20, 2009. I had some “Sarah music” going, but then switched to my “flying music” — the switch would prove to be very providential. Driving like a fighter pilot hopped up on caffeine and sugar, the morning’s trip devolved into desperate race against time to make it from Staten Island to LGA. I had opted to fly, because the traveling time would be much less and the costs not much more than driving up all the way. But, now I was angry and giving new meaning to the term “road rage.”. Here I was two hours in and now in danger of missing my flight. I could have been out of the Island through NJ, and back into NY…almost a third of the way to Rochester by now I thought….

Finally, I made the parking lot, dumped the truck (literally), grabbed my iPhone with the car charger still attached and my bags and lit out of there in the shuttle. It wasn’t till after I checked in that I realized I left my iPod in the truck, and a nice leather bomber jacket. I had no outer jacket for Rochester! Both my uncle and a trusted colleague said that Governor Palin should see the jacket on me.

Darn it! I haven’t even left the city and already I was well on the way not to Going Rouge — but to Going Bust! I choked breakfast down, and I started on the unsigned reading copy, leaving the two treasure copies to be signed well alone in the suitcase.

Governor Palin’s first words immediately soothed my frazzled nerves. I read on.

I nearly started blubbering when I came to the bottom of page eight. There, she told a story of something so providential in her life — and mine — something that was the basis of a rally sign I made 13 months ago…something that was the basis of a video I made a month after that…something that would be the basis of message I left in her gift box….something that would define this entire trip.

A surge of joy swept through me when I saw the Piedmont Dash-8 100 sitting on the apron. Being an IFR private pilot, I am most familiar with Cessna 172s, but the last time I had flown in a turboprop was 1992 when I went to visit my uncle who lived in Meadville, PA at the time.

I was amazed at the power of the turbo-props as my body snapped back into the seat on takeoff and the the aircraft lifted off with an amazing rate of climb. I love those snap-backs. They’re a big hoot. We arced over western Queens and I could see the Con Ed sites that have been my home for nearly 10 years now. We flew to the east of both the old and new Yankee Stadiums, past my mother’s house in Yonkers, and entered a thin overcast, which became an under-cast. Memories of all the places I’d been in the area flowed through…already Governor Palin was touching every aspect of my life by juxtaposition.

My flight instructor, Don Eck has logged thousands of hours for Piedmont. Some people fear turboprops. I love them. You get a greater feeling of flight in them. Flying lower and slower, you get to see the landscape below in greater detail. The windows are larger and you feel a closer connection with the sky as you are flung through the proverbial footless halls of air…while some found the loud drone of the spinning props annoying, it was music to my ears.

The combination of reading Governor Palin’s words and the flight itself mollified me. I concluded that there was a reason I left the jacket and the iPod behind…and as the trip progressed, I would learn that my conclusion was right. I put the book away and kept my face pressed to the window for the duration of the flight.

The under-cast became broken and we slipped through the layer, the plane gently bouncing as it entered the clouds — a normal occurrence. I didn’t know it then, but the Borders Governor Palin would be signing at was directly to my left and in plain view….

We touched down in Rochester, and I grabbed my gear and went to the car rental. Discover card declined… after I had paid it a few days ago to make room. Here we go again…Going Bust. I went for the debit card and accepted the $300 hold. Ugh. It worked. Success! The black 2008 Hyundai Tiburon became my Sarah-Mobile. I stopped down to see the bookstore, then went to Burlington Coat Factory and picked a warm hunting jacket for $20, and checked into the hotel to start up the Accomplishments command and control center.

I was here and established. I was ready to Go Rogue….

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part I — Journey

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY Part II — Camping

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part III — Ready

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part IV — Books Signed

Going Rogue, Rochester, NY: Part V — Egg Attack

Going Rogue: Rochester, NY, Part VI — Going Home 


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